Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Indian Bazaar VS Global Market: A view by an ordinary Indian

INDIAN BAZAAR, at primary level, brings a producer and consumer in direct contact; no third party is involved. With urbanization, broker comes in the picture, the price and distance between the two increases. Hence, the State department's work and rewards (!) increase, with more powers.

City is a symbol of centralized power. Larger a city larger an area its footprint covers, even across continents and oceans, and larger its powers to manipulate and control regions via Market: City is actually a proxy to the power monger/s. In earlier times it was a king, now a corporate body.

Bazaar is an ecological element in the agrarian society, then and now. Because of India's so-called 'mix economy, free market, open market, globalization..., the peasant now belongs to a new category of “Class”, or rather “Underclass”. They are the first and the worst casualty of 'Development and Progress', besides already existing oppressions of caste discrimination; gender oppressions apart.

Web of Caste and Class 

They are now caught in the “web” of "Vertical divisions of Caste and Horizontal divisions of Class". Which one of them is worst? They grew up for many thousand years with degenerated caste system. But, now they are imposed upon by the divisions of class that is already (globally) degenerated. 

The overview of the whole situation looks intriguing in the post-freedom era. The elite fascinated by industrialization, took over the reigns to run the affairs of the country. How did the peasant respond to the change, after centuries of feudal domination? What did freedom, democracy and leaders mean to them? 

"Now it is our Raj, and our leaders will take care of our wellbeing!" Hero-worship continued. What about the five years' rule of limited liability by elections? How does it change perceptions of leaders and peasants about self-rule?  

There are two distinct courses that India followed for decades: (1) the enthusiastic implementation of ‘pro-elite’ projects, and (2) failure to implement or materialize the ‘pro-poor’ Slogans / Promises / Programmes / Provisions. The fall-out of these two conditions now shows glaring or grim results.

Past sixty three years have witnessed rising numbers of riots, extremist and terror attacks; the deaths by hunger – malnutrition – starvation, and suicide by farmers; atrocities on women-children-minorities; atrocities by the security forces, to cite a few. Besides there are number of persons Bellow Poverty Line and the illiterate that don't reduce. 

Countless atrocities take place that are caused to the under privileged people by State Agencies in the name of law and order. There are scams, kickbacks, corruption, parallel economy, encounters, and shootings etc. which may be notable among many.

We take social – economic growth by the Development Projects too much for granted. Recent visit by the US President Obama to India means Market, even if by ancient system of 'barter', of trade, tech for jobs! Did India count how would the upcoming US Market and Nuke Deal affect The Third World India and The Fourth World India (of Adivasis)? Is this aspect social and economic fall-out counted in the Nuclear Safety Precautions? 

Mother Earth - Land - now a market commodity 
Yet there is another silent but sinister trend going on since 1950s and 1960s. Highly placed urbanites, executives, celebrities, real estate developers… have been buying large tracts of land – hills, plains, marshes – in rural areas at strategic places, by their money-power. What could poor farmers do? Yesterday they were masters; now landless labourers.

Large tracts of land are being converted to raise monoculture for industrial use, or in the name of afforestation, at the cost of biodiversity. There are many and many kinds of atrocities taking place on land and waters.

Would there be accelerated Migration from countryside, or Annihilation of the peasants – by Invisible Forces? As we Re-Search even a single aspect, Bazaar, it opens the hidden agenda of Indian Elite: how sly, hypocrite and ruthless they are! It is not merely Indian BAZAAR VS Global MARKET.

It is more sinister action by the insensitive leaders and experts, detrimental to a large and majority rural and forest dwellers. Government of India certainly strives to improve infrastructure, but only for the elite segment. It has failed to create appropriate infrastructure for 900 million peasants in 600,000 villages, some of them are rotting in the cities.

The basic and most urgent infrastructure for the rural people is RELEVANT EDUCATION: Literacy in vernacular, appropriate Education, Alternative Farming Technologies, Water Resources and Conservation, Legal Counselling for All Ages and Genders. These are not separate departments but must be treated and implemented as One Holistic Package.

The hold of the peasant and the consumer on the market, until then, remains a distant dream.

The displaced with their skills in the city 

The displaced and marginalized migrate to cities 
in search of work to sustain with dignity.
(Images by Remigius de Souza)
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 We have heard, the kibbutz have turned desert in Israel into land 
where honey and milk flows, by community participation.

Panoramic photo (composite) of Sunflower fields at Kibbutz Barkai, Israel; 
Author: Rickjpelleg | Source: Wikipedia 

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©Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

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